These Beasts: Emily Hawkins


1.) What’s your name?

Emily Hawkins

2.) Where are you from?

New Jersey

3.) Where do you live?

Philadelphia, PA

4.) 3 reasons why your life in your city couldn’t happen anywhere else?

  • Philadelphia is full of artists! Everywhere you turn there is a gallery or a museum. The inspiration to create and to be creative is everywhere.

  • I’ve lived in four homes in the last 5 years and the neighborhoods I’ve lived in are insanely different.  I run house shows out of my home where we we have bands perform. In Philadelphia there is a really big DIY community that encourages creatives to just keep making things even if they aren’t represented by a gallery or a record label.

  • I love how dirty, honest and real Philadelphia feels.

5.) What kind of work do you do?

I feel like I do everything. I went to college for photography but started doing collages when I graduted. I love curating images together to create experiences for my audience.  

6.) What keeps you inspired?

I’m inspired by looking at art every day whether that be in text books or on instagram, constantly looking at others’ work really helps me to continue making art.

7.) Where do you work? 

I work in my bedroom. I have two desks set up on either side of the room far away from my bed to keep me focused on work, not naps. There are books everywhere stacked up on my collage desk, and usually, the floor is covered in scraps of paper and magazine clippings. I have drawers of source materials like withdraw slips from old library books, wallpaper samples from the ‘20s, and old thesis notebooks from college. Above my collage desk, there is a self-full of treasures I’ve collected that I enjoy looking at for inspiration while I’m working. I also like to hang up clippings of images I have yet to use in collages but want to someday. My second desk is strictly for scanning and printing. I have a Canon printer and Epson scanner set up behind my bedroom door on an old yellow vintage vanity desk. I keep the drawers of my tech desk filled with paper, sewing supplies, and book binding tools. It's a wonky setup but it is working for now!

8.) What is 1 challenge that has defined you for at least one chapter of your life, and what advice would you give to other creatives who are dealing with the same struggles?

I recently graduated from the University of the Arts, leaving an established community of artists and a place that offered many different types of resources was hard. It was hard to continue making work without all those tools at my disposal, through that struggle I’ve found communities outside of my university and found ways of creating art without the fancy printers or studio equipment. Leaving academia offered me the opportunity to find different ways of continuing my artist practice and ultimately led me to start creating collages every day. I’ve realized and would advise any other artists stuck in a sort of creative limbo to just keep making things! The advice is simple but hard to stick too. Creating every day keeps the mind and the eye sharp and I believe, it keeps you in tune with your art practice.

9.) What are some of your favorite snacks, and do you eat them while you work?

I drink way too much coffee!

10.) If you had the power to be extremely persuasive, and you were invited to a presidential dinner, what kind of food allergy would you persuade everyone to believe you had, and why?

I’m not sure how enticing a presidential dinner is nowadays with who is in the white house. I think I would persuade everyone I was allergic to everything; grass, air, shellfish, being outdoors, etc, so I could be excused from participating in a presidential dinner.